Office Service Pack leaked

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The next service pack for Office 2007 has been leaked.

The next service pack for Office 2007 has been leaked.

On various file sharing / BitTorrent sites you’ll find today an ‘Office 2007 Service Pack 2’ download. It appears to be a late beta or even release candidate before the public release of SP2.

We strongly recommend that you NOT download this or any other leaked patch. Only use Office public updates that you download direct from Microsoft.

While the leaked patch might be from Microsoft and not tampered with, as a test patch it might have problems. In addition beta software often can’t be directly upgraded to the final release – in this case you may have to uninstall Office 2007 entirely before reinstalling and applying the final, approved for public consumption, Service Pack 2.

In a classic case of ‘do as we say, not as we do’ we’ll have a look at this leaked patch and update this article later today. The download is just under 300MB but the update process in the leaked version is erratic. We tried it on a few machines only to have the update fail before completion. Eventually we found a machine on which the planets aligned for a successful update followed by reboot of the computer.

Office 2007 with Service Pack 1 has a version/build number 12.0.6331.5000 and the leaked patch reveals (under Options | Resource About) 12.0.6416.1000.  Aside from that detail (and the slow start of Outlook detailed below) you’d not immediately realise that Office 2007 has been updated.  There is no “What’s new” document or help included in the leaked release

OpenDocument format

The most obvious change in Service Pack 2 is the inclusion of OpenDocument format support. OpenDocument is the other internationally recognized document format, the other is Microsoft’s own Office 2007 documents (.docx etc).

Microsoft promised OpenDocument format support with Service Pack 2, it’s certainly there and more completely than we expected.

Office 2007 SP2 - OpenDocument save as.jpg image from Office Service Pack leaked at

Save As now has an ‘OpenDocument’ option in Word 2007, Excel 2007 and Powerpoint 2007 but, somewhat surprisingly, you can make OpenDocument files your default format as well.

Office 2007 SP2 - OpenDocument as default format.jpg image from Office Service Pack leaked at

PDF and XPS export

At long last the ability to save to a PDF file is included in Office 2007 properly. Up until now you had to download a separate add-in from Microsoft to make this happen in Office 2007 only because of a dispute between Microsoft and Adobe.

Doubtless Microsoft will hail this as a great advance in Office 2007 SP2.

Outlook slow on first startup

As we predicted with the Outlook 2007 hotfix (February 2009 Cumulative Update for Outlook 2007 ) released a few weeks ago, much the same fixes are included in Service Pac k 2.

That means you can expect a long wait the first time you start Outlook after installing SP2. There is some rearrangement of the PST/OST data file which in our tests took 13 and 32 minutes (on two different machines) to process 4.7GB of Outlook data. Such a delay will be an issue for network administrators – you can’t have staff waiting around for that long waiting for Outlook to get its act together after an SP2 patch.

Microsoft has been promising ‘massive’ performance improvements with the new patches for Outlook 2007. We can’t say we’ve noticed any particular difference in daily use but some careful benchmarking may well show some improvements.

The Outlook add-in was never there‘ also shows up in the SP2 patched Outlook 2007.

For the record here’s the official list (hardly complete) of SP2 fixes:

For Office Desktop Programs:

  • Improved Outlook Calendaring Reliability
  • Improved Outlook Performance
  • Enabling Object Model support for Charts in PowerPoint and Word
  • Improved cryptographic functionality by supporting all cryptographic algorithms offered by the operating system
  • Improved functionality in Excel’s charting mechanism
  • Ability to ungroup SmartArt graphics (and as a result, the ability to add animations to them in PowerPoint)
  • Ability for Visio to export UML models to an XML file compliant with the XMI standard
  • Tool that enables the uninstall of Office client Service Packs

For Servers:

  • Performance and manageability improvements to variations in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) including STSADM commands for repairing links between source and target pages
  • Improvements around processing status approvals from Office Project Web Access into Office Project Professional 2007
  • Improvements to read-only content databases and index rebuild timer jobs in Windows SharePoint Services 3.

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